Translating cheesy Italian pop songs, pt 2

So I’ve already had a few attempts at translating Italian pop songs into English. These are generally songs that I’ve found catchy, but have been largely unable to translate in my head while I’m listening. I never know what they are or who they’re by, as the station our radio is mostly tuned to doesn’t give such info.

Anyway, a song struck me lately, so I looked it up online, and lo it’s by the same band that I translated before, here. The song’s called Come un pittore – Like a painter – and the band’s Modà, and I guess they’re quite big here. I said before, they’re perhaps Italian Coldplay. Though they sing in Italian, so haven’t quite been exported so successfully. Oh, and this one seems to be a song “feat. Jarabedepalo”, a Spanish group. I believe that’s their singer Pau Donés in the video, below.

I’d say this song sounds like a nursery rhyme (filastrocca), but that’d be unfair to nursery rhymes. When you think about it, a babyish love song is a disturbing thing.

And having said all that, I must admit I quite like it – it’s idiotically sentimental and cheesy but has singalong value, the bottom line of any good pop song. Plus, the fact that I can just about sing along with an Italian pop song, and understand some of it, gives me a good feeling, a sense of progress on my pathetically slow journey on the road to acquiring Italian.

Here’s the official video:

(Why is he making the – very rude – sign of the cuckold at the end of the vid?! I’m really confused now. Is it only rude the other way round?)

Here are the original lyrics:

Ciao, semplicemente ciao.
Difficile trovar parole molto serie,
tenterò di disegnare…
come un pittore,
farò in modo di arrivare dritto al cuore
con la forza del colore.

Guarda… Senza parlare.

Azzurro come te,
come il cielo e il mare
E giallo come luce del sole,
Rosso come le
cose che mi fai… provare.

Ciao, semplicemente ciao.
Disegno l’erba verde come la speranza
e come frutta ancora acerba.
E adesso un po’ di blu
Come la notte
E bianco come le sue stelle
con le sfumature gialle

E l’aria… Puoi solo respirarla!

Azzurro come te,
come il cielo e il mare
E giallo come luce del sole,
Rosso come le
cose che mi fai… provare.

Per le tempeste non ho il colore
Con quel che resta, disegno un fiore
Ora che è estate, ora che è amore…

Azzurro come te,
come il cielo e il mare
E giallo come luce del sole,
Rosso come le
cose che mi fai… provare.

And here’s my stab at a translation:

Hi, just hi.*
It’s hard to find the right words,
so I’ll try to sketch it…
like a painter,
that way, I’ll try to get straight to the heart
with the strength of colour.

Look*… without words*

Blue like you,
like the sky and the sea
And yellow like sunlight
Red like the
things you do to me… Trying.*

Hi, just hi.
I paint the grass green like hope*
and like fruit that’s not ripe.
And now, a bit of blue
Like the night
And white like the stars*
with hints of yellow

And the air…. You just want to breath it!

Blue like you,
like the sky and the sea
And yellow like sunlight
Red like the
things you do to me… Trying.

For storms, I just don’t have the colours
All that remains, I paint a flowerer
Now it’s the summer, now there’s love.

Blue like you,
like the sky and the sea
And yellow like sunlight
Red like the
things you do to me… Trying.

*
“Look” in the sense of “Behold!” perhaps.
“Without words” – or maybe “Without talking”
“Trying” – provare is the verb to try, but also to demonstrate, to feel, to experience. Not really sure what it means here.
Is hope green? Maybe in Italy.
“Like the stars” – or “like her stars”?

I’m probably doing these bards a terrible disservice with my crude translation.

Oh, and if anyone things I’m being rude about Italy here, I don’t agree. I’m being rude about cheesy pop. And I’m enjoying the challenge of translating it, as part of the process of learning Italian.
English language songs can, of course, be equally cheesy. Especially if they’re by Coldplay.

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